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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A completely off topic request

I am completely in love with anything written by Marcel Proust. I have been for years. I have no idea how many of you have read him or are familiar with In Search of Lost Time, but I have read volume 1 and will be starting volume 2 in a couple of weeks. I'm pretty giddy about it. Volume 1 was absolutely beautiful and I was so hooked on the story line that I hated to stop reading before I went to sleep at night.

If anyone has read it and wants to dive in again with me as a reading partner, starting with volume 2 of the Enright revision, please let me know either here or drop me an email. I love having reading partners for long reads. If you have a different version than the Enright revision and would like to participate, that's fine also. Comparing notes would be fun!

This doesn't have to be a chore of trying to read as much as we can in a single day or racing in competition with one another. When I've had reading partners in the past we've all just read at our own pace, but kept the commitment to finish the book even if one or more of us read faster or slower than others. Reading a fabulous story is never about competition for me, it's just about appreciating great literature.

It occurred to me that if no one is interested in this, then maybe the Raytractors as a group could do a reading circle for books that are relevant to atheism, philosophy, science, ect. I couldn't do it myself because I really want to get through volume 2 before Christmas, but it might be a fun idea for everyone else.

Sorry for the off topic request, but I'm really not blogging anymore so I had no other place to post this. Speaking of off topic posts, maybe we could have something on the side bar for posting things that are off topic. I don't know if that is possible or desirable, just a thought.


  1. nonmagic:

    I keep wanting to start In Search of Lost Time, but I haven't yet. I should. I'm 42 years old, and like TB says, I could die anytime. But I suppose I'd get to meet Proust in Hell, along with lots and lots and lots of other interesting people. You know there are damn few true Christians like Ray.

  2. Rufus,

    There is no time like the present. If you want to start volume 1 now, I can point you to some links online that will help you as you go along.

  3. I'm determined to fit in at least one non-studies book before Christmas. The local libraries carry all the volumes of ISoLT in Finnish so I might as well start at vol. 1.

    nonmagic if you please, makeing with the linkage?

    And thanks for the idea, I was so torn apart trying to choose something from my own reading list I might as well try a book suggested by a stranger on the Internet :)

  4. When I get through what I'm reading now, and see about my TBR pile, I'll let you know.

    Somewhat in the same vein, Yann Martel started a website called What is Stephen Harper Reading. He's been sending a different book along with a letter of introduction to the PM every two weeks fro over a year, I believe. Someone down here should have started one with George Bush. Enjoy your reading.

  5. Henwli,

    Glad to help. Let me get my links together and I'll post them up in a bit. I can't wait to hear what you think of volume 1 !


    The 'What is Stephen Harper Reading' looks interesting. I think it's pretty cool that someone would do that!

  6. I've never heard of the series, so I might as well take a look in the library: see if I can find it.

  7. Quasar, awesome ! I love introducing people to Proust!

  8. Henwli,

    Start with this link:

    Waggish read Proust. This person not only read the books (up to a certain point, it appears) but they blogged the experience as a form of notes about each book. I found it helpful and printed out the entire site and referred to it often.

    Unfortunately, they either stopped reading during volume 3 or just quit blogging about it.

    More to come.

  9. nonmagic:

    Have you heard of "How Proust Can Change Your Life" by Alain de Botton? It's short, and light, but interesting. Harold Bloom writes well about Proust, and everything else, in my opinion. He's stuck up, but I like his writing.

  10. Thanks, nonnie! My trip through vol. 1 might progress rather sloughly, as I decided to adorn my fall at the local uni with two additional minor subjects.

    Hopefully I'll be getting back to you apropos of Proust after I've made some progress :)

    Oh, and I love the idea of a Raytractors reading circle. We could even have audio conferences through Skype or something! For some reason I immediately thought of The Natural History of Nonsense by Bergen Evans as a good book to start with. A skeptical book from the 1950s, haven't encountered many of those. And yes, the whole book can be found at the link I posted above.

    Maybe I'll have to fit in... two books. Eek gads.

  11. Well, 1946 so that's about 1950s'ish... right?

  12. Rufus,

    I have heard of it, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll have to put that one on the TBR list as well.


    Wow, you are seriously busy! I'd really like to see the idea of a Raytractors reading group get off the ground!

  13. Henwli,

    Also, this is a good link, although it references the Penguin edition.

  14. Shit, more books!

    My TBR pile is not getting any smaller you know?


  15. Awww, come on GE! Are you in? ;)

  16. I'm willing to try a reading group/book club. I nominate The Secret. Or anything by Ray Comfort.

  17. I'm just finishing up Zogby's "The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream"

    I've never done a reading group kind of thing, and I have never read Proust, but always thought that I should, so count me in.

    BTW- rufus said- "there are damn few true Christians like Ray."

    There are actually much fewer than most people think. A recent Barna Group study indicated that only about 8% of American adults are evangelical fundamentalists who subscribe to a worldview such as what Comfort espouses.

    That would put the number at around 16 million or so, but they are a very politcally active and vocal minority.

  18. You've peaked my interest. I can barely find time to read any more, so I can't promise anything. But I'll see if I can pick it up before the weekend...

  19. Dear magical nonmagic,

    ok, ok, I will check the local library for Proust's Search of Lost Time. Is the original in French?


  20. GE,

    Yes, it is. I'm excited that you're joining in !! Are you going to read it in French??

  21. Rufus,

    LOL...The Secret! When that book first came out I was calling it The Secret To Handing Over Some Idiot Your Money.

    I used to keep an eye on a forum where people used to gather to discuss their attempted 'manifestations'. Oh, boy...there are some credulous people in this world. Some people will believe anything they see on Oprah.

  22. Whateverman,

    Awesome! Let me know if you get a copy.

  23. Well, I have still to see if they would have it in French at the library. Otherwise, English ...


  24. nonmagic:

    SNL did a hilarious skit about Oprah and the Secret, but it's been removed for copyright infringement.

  25. Rufus,

    I would love to have seen that!


    I wish I knew French!

  26. nonmagic:

    It was funny. They had some typical Oprah female guests, then someone from Africa, and of course the drought and starvation were his fault because of the law of attraction. And he ate his copy of the Secret. I think it would be better used as toilet paper myself.

  27. LOL Rufus!! I can't stand Oprah and her New Age-y crackpot crap.


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